In The Know is a daily synopsis of Oklahoma policy-related news and blogs. Inclusion of a story does not necessarily mean endorsement by the Oklahoma Policy Institute. E-mail your suggestions for In The Know items to email@example.com. You can sign up here to receive In The Know by e-mail.
Today you should know that even though lawmakers are looking for ways to finish paying bonuses to teachers who earned National Board Certification, the program may be put on hold or phased out after this year. The Department of Public Safety commissioner said that due to budget cuts, state trooper strength is at its lowest level in 22 years. Governor Fallin will release details of her plan to slash the income tax in today’s State of the State address. In the legislative session beginning today, tax cuts will be in competition with potentially costly plans to reform prisons, rebuild the state foster care program under a court settlement, improve college graduation rates, and improve state roads. Find more on the tax debate at OK Policy’s tax reform information page.
Terri White, the head of Oklahoma’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, will also serve as interim chief of DHS while the state conducts a national search to replace outgoing Director Howard Hendrick. OETA’s executive director is disputing a lawmaker’s claim that 17 states have quit funding public television without losing their PBS signal. The loss of 2,100 jobs at the Tulsa American Airlines facility is likely to ripple through the area economy.
After resolving court battles with affected landowners, the Keystone pipeline is ready to come through Oklahoma. The FBI created a fake Georgia company in 2008 so an agent could go undercover to secretly investigate the Oklahoma Legislature for corruption. Sen. Shortey is proposing several measures that would dismantle Oklahoma’s judicial branch of government. Janet Pearson writes about the need to invest in programs addressing a national epidemic of child abuse.
The Number of the Day is Oklahoma’s national rank for state and local taxes paid as a percentage of personal income. In today’s Policy Note, President Obama is proposing performance-based funding for colleges and universities to rewards schools that keep tuition low.